Yes, I Do Know the Words to ‘La Bamba’!

Daniel set me off yesterday; I was just wondering what to do for my Spanish session when he came in singing ‘La Bamba’.  I was impressed he knew any of the words as I considered his Spanish to be minimal; after all we only went to Spain once when he was four.

To the uninitiated, ‘La Bamba’ sounds like babbling, so much so that when the record was out ‘knowing the words to La Bamba’ was a standing joke.  It sounds as if the chorus goes ‘ballabababalla bamba!’ whereas once you know Spanish you can decipher it and make out para bailar la bamba, meaning ‘to dance la bamba’.  I have a party-piece all prepared for whenever someone says ‘Who knows the words to La Bamba?’  But no-one ever does.

So here are the words to that song, in Spanish and then in English:

Para bailar la bamba

para bailar la bamba se necesita

un poco de gracia

un poco de gracia para mi, para ti

y arriba, y arriba


Bamba, bamba x 4

Yo no soy marinero

yo no soy marinero, soy capitano

soy capitano, soy capitano

Bamba, bamba x 4

repeat ad lib

And now the deep and meaningful translation:

to dance la bamba

to dance la bamba you need

a little bit of grace

a little bit of grace and something else

come on, come on

bamba, bamba

I am not a sailor, I am a captain…

So now you know, you can sing along:

Kirk out



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